Toronto FC completed the long-awaited signing of its new playmaker, who will have big shoes to fill upon his arrival in MLS.
Toronto FC completed the long-awaited signing of its new Designated Player playmaker, inking Alejandro Pozuelo from Belgian first-place side Genk on Monday.
Pozuelo, 27, joins Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley as DPs on Toronto's roster and will be tasked with filling the void left behind by Sebastian Giovinco, who was sold to Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal FC after a contract dispute during the offseason. He'll join TFC in a couple of weeks, following the conclusion of Genk's regular season. The transfer fee was undisclosed, but reports put it in the $11 million range, which would make it the third-most expensive purchase in league history behind Atlanta United's acquisitions of Pity Martinez ($17 million) and Ezequiel Barco ($15 million) and ahead of NYCFC's offseason signing of Alexandru Mitrita ($8.5 million).
“Alejandro is an excellent player that has the ability to both create and score goals,” TFC general manager Ali Curtis said in a statement. “He is the best player on the best team in Belgium’s top division. Obviously, and for so many reasons, we would like him to join us now, but we look forward to his arrival on March 18. We are very excited for the 2019 season and adding another important piece to a group that already has a lot of quality only makes us stronger.”
With Genk, Pozuelo has scored 25 goals and assisted on 60 others in 175 matches in all competitions since 2015. His career began with Real Betis in his native Spain and has also included stops at Swansea City and Rayo Vallecano.
He joins a TFC side that's already been eliminated from the Concacaf Champions League but began its MLS campaign with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.